Most presentations of quantitative information are poorly designed—painfully so, often to the point of misinformation. This problem, however, is rarely noticed and even more rarely addressed. We use tables and graphs to communicate quantitative information: the critical numbers that measure the health, identify the opportunities, and forecast the future of our organizations. Even the best information is useless, however, if its story is poorly told. This problem exists because almost no one has ever been trained to design tables and graphs for effective and efficient communication. Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten is the most accessible, practical, and comprehensive guide to table and graph design available.
The second edition of Show Me the Numbers improves on the first by polishing the content throughout (including updated figures) and adding 91 more pages of content, including: 1) A new preface; 2) A new chapter entitled “Silly Graphs That Are Best Forsaken,” which alerts readers to some of the current misuses of graphs such as donut charts, circle charts, unit charts, and funnel charts; 3) A new chapter about quantitative narrative entitled “Telling Compelling Stories with Numbers”; and 4) New appendices entitled “Constructing Table Lens Displays in Excel,” “Constructing Box Plots in Excel,” and “Useful Color Palettes.”